“It was a place without pretense, where everyone was welcome,” the Jerusalem Garden website states.

Jerusalem Garden is hard to miss, with the large, orange, mosaic-style “JG” letters standing out on the busy East Liberty Street. With so many restaurants lining the street, it can be hard to choose where to go. However, if you want a fast, delicious Mediterranean meal, whether it be a falafel sandwich or a kabob, Jerusalem Garden is the place to stop in.

The family-owned restaurant caters to all different diets: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and halal. They offer combinations of meals, meals with sides, and tasting platters for the people who want to try a little of everything and experience some Mediterranean culture. They offer affordable prices for delicious food, and have dine-in, pick up and delivery options. 

Founder Ribhi Ramlawi opened Jerusalem Garden in 1987 using his severance pay after being laid off from his job. The father of eight was looking for a way to provide for his family, and quickly gained popularity in the Ann Arbor area. 

Today, three of Ramlawi’s children are still involved in the business, and son Ali Ramlawi, an Ann Arbor City Council member of Ward 5, is currently the main owner and operator, continuing his family tradition of offering Ann Arbor with authentic food and a welcoming community. 

“It is essentially Palestenian street food,” Ali Ramlawi said. “We quickly became successful and popular based on our falafel, and we have grown since then. We are still using my father’s recipe for the falafel and other things like the hummus and the lentil soup.”

Daily Staff Reporter Emiline Fahmy can be reached at emilinef@umich.edu.